The Trump administration will take steps to ensure that immigrants in the United States will be self-sufficient and not put a strain on US public resources, the White House said in a news release on Monday.
“The Trump administration is releasing a final rule that will protect American taxpayers, preserve our social safety net for vulnerable Americans, and uphold the rule of law”, the release said. “This action will help ensure that if aliens want to enter or remain in the United States they must support themselves, and not rely on public benefits.”
Under the proposed rule, immigrants who receive public benefits above a certain threshold will be known as a “public charge,” the release said. Aliens who are found likely to become a public charge will be barred from entering the United States and will not be able to adjust their immigration status.
“To protect benefits for American citizens, immigrants must be financially self-sufficient”, Trump said.
The White House said that public charge has been a part of the US immigration law for more than 100 years as a ground of inadmissibility.
According to the release, 58 percent of all households headed by a non-citizen use at least one welfare program.
On May 17, Trump presented his administration’s plan for a new merit-based legal immigration system that will increase the proportion of high-skilled immigrants allowed entry in the United States from 12 percent to 57 percent.
An increasing number of migrants from Central America have been arriving to the US border with Mexico in recent months. Trump has called the surge of arrivals a crisis and declared a national emergency in February in order to secure funds to build a border wall to stem the tide of illegal immigration.